Preview: Niagara Purple Eagles

First-year coach Chris Casey faces stiff challenge with depleted roster

Updated: October 7, 2013, 9:25 AM ET
By John Templon | ESPN Insider

Antoine MasonMatt Cashore/USA TODAY SportsShooting guard Antoine Mason averaged 18.7 points and 4.1 rebounds per game last season.

Niagara Purple Eagles

2012-13: 19-14 (13-5 MAAC)
In-conference offense: 1.07 points per possession (3rd)
In-conference defense: 1.00 points per possession (4th)

Niagara looked primed for success at the end of the 2012-13 season. The Purple Eagles had just won the MAAC regular-season title, and even though they lost to Iona in the semifinals of the conference tournament, Joe Mihalich had built a solid foundation in northern New York. It all fell apart, though, when Mihalich took over at Hofstra and brought two-thirds of his talented sophomore trio with him. Chris Casey has come in to pick up the pieces, but he has been given a shell of a team to work with in his inaugural season.